Currie Cup

Baby Bok loving life at Sharks

2014-09-12 12:54
Andre Esterhuizen (Gallo Images)
Durban - Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen is another young talent who will be making his mark during this year's Currie Cup.

This season, a number of youngsters prove their worth during the prestigious domestic competition.

Western Province wing Seabelo Senatla and lock Jean Kleyn, EP Kings scrumhalf Kevin Luiters, Blue Bulls fullback Jesse Kriel and centre Burger Odendaal, and Sharks prop Thomas du Toit are just a handful of players who have created excitement during the Currie Cup.

Junior Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen is set to become another debutant to impress when the Sharks tackle the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this weekend.

Esterhuizen has enjoyed an impressive year so far, doing well for the Sharks during Super Rugby when called upon and delivering strong performances during the SA Under-20s' campaign at the Junior World Championship in New Zealand.

He will now aim to make his mark in the Currie Cup.

"The Currie Cup is an exciting tournament, which sees South Africa's top teams face each other week in and week out. Local derbies are always tough," Esterhuizen told the MyPlayers website. "It's a great tournament for young players as it adds to our development and we get to test ourselves against top opposition."

The Sharks have struggled in recent weeks, suffering back-to-back losses against the Pumas and Griquas. However, Esterhuizen is confident that the men from Durban can return to winning ways in Bloemfontein.

"We haven't achieved the results that we wanted, but the players are confident that they can turn things around," said Esterhuizen. "Everybody has bought into the systems in place. We just need to get the job done on the field.

"I hope to win the team momentum with some strong carries in the midfield. Getting that go-forward ball will put us on the front foot. The Cheetahs won't be easy to beat, so we need to be at our best."

The Sharks have experimented with Esterhuizen at flank at Under-21 level this season.

However, after two games, he returned to the inside centre, his preferred position.

"Jake White believed I could make an impact as a loosie because of my physicality and speed," said Esterhuizen. "It was an interesting experiment as the game is totally different as a flank. You don't get as many chances to run with possession as you do most of your work off the ball. I enjoyed the experience, but I'll be continuing life at centre."

Born and bred in Potchefstroom, where he attended Klerksdorp High and represented the Leopards as a schoolboy, the 20-year-old has adapted to life in Durban. He moved to KZN after school and has settled in nicely over the past two years.

"It was tough when I first moved. I used to play better in our away games than our home games," quipped Esterhuizen. "But I managed to settle in well and I'm enjoying life in Durban.

"I'm good friends with all the players, like Jaco van Tonder, Stefan Ungerer and Stephan Lewies. Coming from a small town, there's definitely much more to do. I enjoy spending time on the golf course and braaing with my team-mates."

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Read more on:    sharks  |  currie cup  |  durban  |  rugby

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